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Climbing the Lantau Peak at night

Huang Bore1956

Hong Kong Museum of Art
Hong Kong , Hong Kong

Fascinated by the topography and history of Lantau, Huang did quite a number of paintings of the island’s scenic spots like the Lantau Peak, Tai Fung Au, Mui Wo and Tai O. The Lantau Peak, the highest point on the Island, is an ideal spot for admiring the spectacle of a sunrise. The journey and the climb, however, took more than a one-day trip to do, given the inaccessibility in the old days. This was finally made possible in 1952 when the Yung Sheh, a local hikers’ club, sought the consent of the abbot of the Po Lin Monastery to take in hikers for the night so that they could set off for the peak in the small hours. Huang joined his fellow members of the club on several occasions and found the climb so memorable that he visualized his impressions in many paintings, Lantau Peak being one of the more celebrated. In the painting entitled Climbing the Lantau Peak at Night, which was created from the sketch Lantau Peak, the mountain appears to be all the more monumental when seen from a low vantage point, with the main peak jutting out. A pagoda in the foreground gives added interest. The striking layout is reminiscent of the awe-inspiring landscapes in the Northern Song paintings.

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  • Title: Climbing the Lantau Peak at night
  • Date Created: 1956
  • Theme: Landscape
  • Physical Dimensions: w86.6 x h67.5 cm
  • Location in the artwork: Lantau Peak, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
  • History of Donation: The work was on display in the exhibition "A Eulogy of Hong Kong Landscape in Painting : The Art of Huang Bore" held by the Museum in 2008 and was acquired by the Museum from the Huang's family in 2010.
  • Chinese painter: Huang Bore
  • Artist's Biography: Born in Dongguan and brought up in Guangzhou, Guangdong, Huang Bore (Wong Po-yeh) spent the latter part of his life in Hong Kong. He opted for the traditionalist camp and joined Zhao Haogong (1881 - 1949), Pan He (1873 - 1929) and others in the Guihai Painting Cooperative in 1923 when it was expanded to become the Guangdong Painting Research Society, then the largest art body in southern China. In 1926, Huang arrived in Hong Kong and founded the Hong Kong Chapter of the Guangdong Painting Research Society together with Pan Dawei (1881 - 1929), Deng Erya (1884 - 1954) and other artists relocated from Guangdong, in an attempt to kindle painting interest in the colony. From then on, Huang was very much a regular traveller between the two places. In 1940, he helped the Fung Ping Shan Library of The University of Hong Kong to curate the “Guangdong Heritage Exhibition”. In 1949, Huang came to Hong Kong again where he remained until his death in 1968. Over all those years, he continued to be actively involved in curating exhibitions, which numbered in dozens. Besides being a member of the Yuan Painting Society, the Ping Sheng Art Club and Gengzi Calligraphy and Painting Society, he wrote for a number of newspapers including the Sing Tao Daily, Wah Kiu Yat Po and Ta Kung Pao. Beginning from the early 1950s, he went hiking regularly with the Yung Sheh Hiking Club to the remotest spots of Hong Kong, taking in the views and capturing them in painting. In 1960, he held a solo exhibition “Paintings of Hong Kong” – which was to be the one and only throughout his life, and became one of the first painters ever to dedicate themselves to the depiction of the scenery of Hong Kong. Knowledgeable in Guangdong art and culture, Huang was invited to be an honorary adviser to the City Museum and Art Gallery (now Hong Kong Museum of Art) which was established in 1962 with the objective of collecting Guangdong art and artifacts. He not only helped build up the Museum’s collection in its infancy and advised enthusiastically on acquisitions, but also donated works of Guangdong masters that he had collected over the years. In his artistic exploration, Huang has broken the bounds of traditional ink painting by freely incorporating modern thoughts and ideas in his art, launching a new dimension for Hong Kong art that transcends time and space. His contribution to the reformation of traditional Chinese painting and his place in the history of art in modern China were recognized at a summit conference held by the Chinese Artists’ Association to coincide with the exhibition, “The World of Wong Po-yeh”, at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing in 1997 following its debut at the Art Museum of The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1995.
  • Type: Ink and colour on paper

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